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Ebert Offers Up Wit and Insight Among the Bland

You know, I’m so tired of this election year already. I’m so sick of the horrid pounding Hillary has been taking by guys on the web who are mostly small-minded in general and tend to think in terms of white and black or black and girl. I’ve gotten so sick of it, in fact, that I’ve stopped watching or caring. I don’t have a lot of faith in our government but I admire those I know who still do. I will say this much about the Obama campaign: they ain’t see nothing yet. The stuff Hillary’s campaign has been throwing at them is softball compared to what they’ll be getting at the big show. At any rate, here is Ebert as he ponders what kind of movie might be made about Bill and Hill:

Hillary and Bill are both intelligent, experienced political creatures. They’ve both been running for something since grade school. They are fueled by the desire for high office and public recognition, but fueled also by the process itself. They’re good at it. Considering their apparent depression on Tuesday night I realized that, yes, as late as that, they really did still think Hillary could win, even after the CNN “panels” were running out of ways to say farewell. They believed it right up to the end, because they had to, they needed to, in order to keep on running at all.

Yet there must have been private moments of despair. The two realists, as able as anyone to read the trends, must have spoken privately about their shrinking options. And on Tuesday night, as Hillary’s double-digit lead in Indiana dwindled to very small single digits, there must have come a time when one of them said, “We’ve lost this thing.”

What were those moments like? What kept them going between themselves? Did they encourage one another, or was there an unspoken pact not to voice the unspeakable? Was there blame when Bill had one of his unwise moments? Did their shared past, of success and scandal, enter into it, or were they absorbed in this moment?

In answering those questions, there you would find the movie. It would be more introspective than audiences would probably prefer, and less sensational. Smarter, too. There would be a limited budget, because you wouldn’t need a stadium filled with thousands of people so much as you’d need lots of lonely hotel rooms after midnight. The climaxes would come as one old comrade after another abandoned them for the Obama camp. There would be a desperate, clinging love that had survived all the years, because it was based on shared experience and memories and goals, not so much any longer on passion.

It would be a sad story, but a true one, and it might contain more truth than political movies are conventionally allowed to have. It might, like “Bulworth,” say forbidden things. And issues would not be at issue: The campaign was not about political positions, but about sheer desire. Hillary wanted to win, and she ran and ran and ran until there was a kind of heroism to it. Futile heroism after a point, but that’s where the story lies.

Thank you, Ebert, for bringing some intelligence to this discussion, a rarity these days on the web.

0 Comments on this Post

  1. Personally, I don’t really know if I prefer Obama over Hillary or vice versa, but I’m getting tired of seeing this thing getting dragged out all the way into May. Hillary shows no signs of wanting to quit and I just see this race getting uglier and uglier. I feel that the longer we wait for a Democratic candidate to come out of this on top, the less of a chance they’ll have at taking the White House. I really didn’t think the Democrats could screw this one up, but they’ve almost managed to outdo themselves.

  2. Sasha, God bless you for that post. I’m so tired of this whole thing too, and pretty disgusted by the hatefulness (and blatant sexism) of so many bloggers. I’m genuinely disenchanted with the democratic party as a whole and I just want this to end. It’s so sad that it’s come to this. Sigh.

    And I wholeheartedly agree: what the GOP has in store will make these past few months look like a Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan rom com.

  3. Ryan Adams

    I don’t see heroism as much as I see stubborn blind ambition, and we know where that sort of personality can lead us.

    In my esteem, Hillary stood on a pedestal of absolutely equal lofty heights with Barack 3 months ago. I honestly didn’t care which one of them made it, because either way, they’d have made brilliant running mates. But when it became clear she was willing to inflict damage on the party in pursuit of her desperate clawing, day by day I liked what I was seeing less and less.

    She’s wasted at least a month of precious time and threatens to waste another month before she’s finally faces up to the fact that she’s run out of options. By then (and maybe already) she’ll have wrecked the spectacular opportunity she might’ve had to run alongside Obama as VP, and possibly extend an Obama/Clinton legacy for 16 years! But nope, she had to have it now. And now she’ll have nothing.

    It’s sad alright. It’s sad as hell, and I’m depressed about it too. But there’s no vast right-wing conspiracy this time. It’s pure Greek tragedy, hubris and all.

    It’s not too late for her to gradually back down and pitch in to help Obama. As Sasha has said, he’s sure gonna need all the help he can get. We’ll see the Clinton’s true colors when we find out how much enthusiasm they have to win when it’s not all about them.

    I hope they make me proud of them again, and I sincerely expect they will. I feel sick inside that I’ve grown to resent Bill and Hillary, and I want to start admiring them once more as the inspiring couple they used to be.

    [When this began, I didn't care who won, just so long as McCain lost. So I'd appreciate it f nobody accuses me of being sexist just because I'm trying for once in my life to be a realist. ]

  4. Ryan, I think that they will come through in the end. They need to build up the Clinton brand again and I truly believe that they want what’s best for this country (i.e., no McCain).

    It’s been an ugly, dramatic, at times exciting and joyous ride, but I’m honestly glad it’s almost over. And the party *will* come together — it just must.

  5. alfredo

    Ryan I respectfully disagree. I don’t think her chances at vp have been completely ‘wrecked’…yet. As of right now I think the country is clamouring for an Obama/Clinton ticket and he’s smart enough to know this. Also it’s ironic how the democratic system is ruining the party but I digress.

    I think this sounds like a great idea for a film…I think meryl streep would be great as hillary!

  6. Sasha Stone

    Ryan, I don’t think he ever would have chosen her – isn’t he going to pick Edwards? I thought Hill would have made a good president. I still worry that Obama is just too green. I love the guy but something tells me he’ll get crushed by an October surprise that is swift and deadly.

    After what the Clintons have put Obama through there is no way she’s getting that gig. And can you imagine all of the asshole haters if that happened? All of those freaks on the blogs who hate Hillary with a passion? If he chose her he would alienate all of them. So it wouldn’t have happened anyway and now, as you say, it definitely isn’t happening.

  7. Ryan Adams

    I’m not giving up hope for that possibility Alfredo, and I want you to be right. What little I saw of Hillary’s speeches today give me cause for optimism.

    We need the Clinton’s fighting spirit, and — yes — we need their ability to play dirty. But it hurt me deeply to see them (in my eyes) playing dirty within out own party. It was starting to reek of what Bush and Rove did to McCain in 2000. So I want to believe what you’re saying too, Dorothy.

    Trust me, I’ve been thoroughly demoralized at times about how this devolved. This week I broke a long silence, but I want to be sure tpo explain myself so I’m not thrown in with the hateful misogynists you’re talking about, Sasha. Those guys make me ill. That’s not me.

  8. Ryan Adams

    Obama/Edwards looks good to me.
    My mood sinks pretty low, but the weeble-wobble optimist in me won’t fall down.

    Maybe Obama will appoint Hillary to the Supreme Court.

  9. I’m still hopeful for an Obama-Clinton ticket. As Bart Simpson would say, “Sorry, mom. The mob has spoken.” Come to think of it, all my dreams seem to be pretty extreme.

    I’m not sure about an Obama-Edwards ticket (Elizabeth has all but endorsed Hills; there’s some Kerry baggage attached, etc.). Perhaps Napolitano is likelier, but I think Obama would need a more recognizable brand to balance out his own. I’m thinking it’ll be a general of some sort, thus ensuring many more years of a penis-led White House :P

  10. Ryan Adams

    Who’s the highest-ranking female general? Also Latina. Plus, ridiculously hawt would be helpful.

    Anyway, thanks all y’all, for making me feel as burnt out and exhausted by my favorite Obama winning as I was when my favorites the Coens won.

    Whatever happened to winning being enjoyable? 8-)

    [Jon Stewart just recommended to McCain that he select Hillary as his running mate.

    Checkmate.]

  11. “Who’s the highest-ranking female general? Also Latina. Plus, ridiculously hawt would be helpful.”

    Surely you must be talking about me! :-)

  12. Ryan Adams

    Thinly veiled hint, Dorothy. 8-)
    Reluctant to reveal too much about your covert involvement in the Doronista Resistance Movement.

  13. LOL. To be clear, the DRM is the group that *did not* kidnap Patty Hearst.

  14. sartre

    As a non-American I’m just thrilled that what often feels like the most backward Western democracy is finally, at least on the Democrat side, embracing a woman and African American as potential Presidential candidates. Both are highly intelligent and driven by admirable values. What a novelty after 8 years of Bush to face the strong prospect of a new president capable of abstract thought and moral reasoning. The idea of either of these Democrats becoming President feels downright revolutionary. Isn’t the groundbreaking nature of this possibility a sad testament to a long national history of disempowerment based on gender and race? Many other Western democracies have elected women to the highest executive position, crikey, even Islamic Pakistan has elected a female prime minister.

    I know that in the heat of the competition and rivalry it’s easy to become disenchanted. But please don’t lose sight of the bigger picture – what both these fine candidates say about America at its best is a cause for national pride after 8 years of profoundly limited leadership within an administration that failed in every conceivable way.

  15. J Clark

    I don’t see the protracted and historic nomination battle between Obama and Clinton as a bad thing. Yes, it has gotten ugly at times, but as previously noted, their minor intraparty quibbles will be nothing compared to the all-out war when it’s Democrat vs. Republican. For the first time in many cycles, nearly every state has had a chance to have their votes actually count. The extreme interest in this primary election has brought out people who have never voted before, and both Obama and Clinton have inspired millions of new registrants to join the Democratic Party. I admire her tenacity

    I’ve already cast my ballot in the upcoming mail-in Oregon primary, even though it looks like Senator Obama has locked up the nomination. As far as Senator Clinton staying in the race (for now), I, think she’s savvy enough to realize that she won’t come out on top… but she may very well be trying to negotiate a spot on the ticket as VP.

  16. I can see neither Clinton nor Obama accepting a VP spot. Obama has said that he is running for president and president only, and that if he doesn’t get it this year, he won’t run again because he doesn’t want to put his family through it. And Hillary… well, I think Hillary has made it very clear that she will not settle for “second place.” There is a sense of entitlement with her campaign. She dropped her maiden name, she was First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the White House, and a Junior Senator from NY; the next stop is the White House, and she won’t give up until she’s there as president and president only.

    Clinton clearly still has support (how much of that support is from conservatives and republicans encouraged to vote for her by Rush and Bill Kristol and all those other lovely folks, I don’t know), and if there were any chance whatsoever of her surpassing Obama then I would understand why she is still in the race. The fact of the matter is, though, is that all of the math is against her. Obama leads her in state count (he’s won twice as many primaries and caucuses), popular vote, and pledged delegates. Even if she wins every single primary 65-35, she won’t overtake him in the pledged delegate count. The superdelegate margin between them narrows every day, her campaign is in debt (she just loaned her campaign another $6.4mil over the past couple of weeks), and she is losing the support of some of her biggest endorsements (like Dianne Feinstein and George McGovern).

    We get to a point — the same point we’re at now — where tenacity turns into stubbornness and blind ambition. Clinton is a smart woman; she knows that there’s no way she can win by this point, so we know that her staying in the race has nothing to do with winning the presidency. So why is she still in it? What purpose does it serve? There is no legitimate reason for her to stay in the race until the convention. If this race goes that long, then we’ll have only, what, two or three months to rally behind one candidate? If that happens, let’s face it: John McCain is winning this democratic nomination.

    And another thing that has been pissing me off: Why is the story always “Obama can’t win because he is losing some of the white vote to Clinton” and not “Clinton can’t win because 92% of African-American voters don’t support her”? Well, I’m glad Clinton is able to exploit this fact as a way to justify her staying in the race.

  17. BryanSamo

    Interesting comments about politics on an awards. It’s good to see people obsessed with the Oscars can also have strong opinions about other things.

    I have been against Clinton since last August. My opinion has nothing to do with her being a woman, or some of the proposals that she has put forward as a candidate (health care, etc) and everything to do with how she has voted in the Senate and her explanations for her voting.

    The first vote in the Iraq War Authorization vote. She voted in favor of it without even reading the Intelligence brief. She is the only Democratic candidate running for President who has said that vote was a mistake and taken responsibility for her vote. She brought up a constitutional amendment to outlaw flag-burning. And, last August she voted to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, which was a vote to set in place rationale for attacking Iran.

    Those are just a few. I can see why she is doing this. She needs to appear tough on terrorism to appeal to voters in the general election, she may not believe in everything she votes, but she needs to appeal to certain segments of voters. The Democrats have been falling into this trap since 2002. And it was proven wrong in 2006, if they run on the issues and vote what they believe in they can win elections. They need to stand up and defend themselves and not seem afraid of being label anti-American or soft on terrorism.

    And now, with Hilary, add in that last September she was ahead in ALL the polls, had the most money raised, the biggest name recognition and basically seemed to have the nomination in her hand. But she hasn’t won. And all of this experience that she has can’t be used to properly pick a staff to get her elected. Mark Penn and Bill Clinton were both doing business with Columbia to help expand free trade there, while Hilary was on the campaign trail talking about repealing elements of NAFTA. Ambition, Power and Money seems to be more important than actual issues.

    I don’t see how all of those issues can just be written off. I would like to know the specific reasons that Hilary supporters are in favor of her winning?

  18. richard crawford

    I have not read any of these….above. no time. Hilary needs to go on a gas tax holiday……..she needs to GET OUT. Have lost respect for the Clintons.

  19. http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080519/betsyreed

    A brilliant article. It’s true that our country hasn’t exactly risen to the occasion of having our first serious female candidate. But there’s a whole lot more to the story than that, Sasha.

    And for the record, I think the most prominent male blogger, kos, is pretty much the antithesis of sexist and held out against endorsing for a long, long time. He pointed out the sexism pretty regularly.

  20. chrisw

    Hilary is the better canidate, but she should step out now. She will never accept a VP slot, instead she will wait until 2012, where she’ll be able to run the “I told you so” ticket. That is if McCain wins, which is a very real possibility. I like all three canidates, you have to be blind if you hate any of them, and this election only ensures our country will be a better place on 1/20/09.

    By the way, this is a film forum. Stop with the politics. I can go to CNN, the papers, or Fox News to get my fix. How about that Robert Downey Jr?

  21. J Clark

    I’d like to express a few more points in defense of Senator Clinton’s voting record. First I’ll say that no politician’s voting record is beyond reproach–difficult decisions are made all the time, mistakes are made, and it’s unlikely for one to find absolute agreement on every vote.

    Yes, Senator Clinton has expressed regret for voting for the Iraq War Authorization and rightly so. And she erred in not reading the bill; however, the trend of not reading bills is not specific to Senator Clinton. It happens all the time by most congressional members of both parties. Keep in mind, also, that alternate bills calling for more diplomacy were halted by the GOP majority, and rather than setting a precedent that might have tied the President’s hands, she voted for a less than optimal resolution. In part, I think she was representing her constituency, the voters of New York, who had the experience of terrorism fresh in their minds, and who were driven to alarm by the Bush administration and an irresponsible press. She was wrong to assume that W. would proceed responsibly, but ultimately, it was W. who abused the authority.

    Also, Senator Clinton brought up a bill to criminalize desecration of the flag but REJECTED a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning; that is an important distinction. Her position was seen as a compromise.

    And as for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Senator Clinton has received a lot of criticism for saber-rattling. But her position, as I understand it, is that in order to have negotiation with a hostile regime, there has to be both “carrots” and “sticks” on the negotiating table to use as tools in the process. I don’t think many would disagree that the current Iranian regime is dangerous and that it is not entirely without reason to take a more hawkish position with Iran as she has. Unlike the Iraq bill, this bill explicitly denied authorization for war.

    I don’t want to get into too much of a debate about identity politics, but as far as perceptions of Senator Clinton as blindly ambitious, hyperpartisan or too calculating, I think she surprises most people who work with her. I can’t think of any public figure who has endured such intense public scrutiny and criticism and who still have managed to be so effective at what they do. One of the insidious things about racism and sexism is that often they work invisibly. Sometimes we’re not even conscious of how our institutions and socialization have informed our perceptions of race and gender. We can say our perceptions of these candidates are not informed by racism or sexism, but the invitation still falls upon us to engage in rigorous introspection to determine whether that is actually true.

    The most common reason put forward for insisting that Clinton “do the right thing” and “bow out graciously” is that she is doing the Democratic Party, and its chances in November, irretrievable harm by prolonging the internecine struggle of the primary contest and taking it to the convention (despite the fact that the chairman of the National Democratic Committee, Howard Dean, has suggested that the nomination should be decided around July 1).

    A similar argument was advanced in 2000, pressuring Gore to concede the presidency to Bush, or risk a “constitutional crisis” — American code for “rip the country apart.” He was told he couldn’t win, that the people had spoken, that he should concede graciously and let the system work — the one the Republicans were busy rigging. So he conceded. That turned out well, didn’t it?

    Yes, the general election is different from the primaries. But far from being an especially protracted Democratic primary, this one is right on historical track. June is actually the magic month, in which the Democratic nomination was clinched in 1992 by Bill Clinton; in 1988 by Dukakis (Jesse Jackson didn’t withdraw until June); in 1984 by Mondale (who didn’t officially gain the nomination until the convention in July); in 1976 by Carter; and in 1972, the first year in which the present primary system operated, by McGovern. The only exception to the June rule was the 1980 election, in which Edward Kennedy fought on against Carter all the way until the convention in August. Only in the last two elections, in other words, has the Democratic nomination been a foregone conclusion this early in the primary process. And neither the results of 2000 or 2004 should send Democrats rushing to foreclose their options.

    It has been many years since a presidential primary has been this close and there are many possible exit strategies when she chooses to suspend her campaign. She may want to end her campaign with a win (West Virginia) or after every state has had their chance to vote. Let everyone vote, let Senator Obama reach the threshhold required for the nomination, let the process take its course.

  22. BryanSamo

    JCark, I am curious how you would know so much about Clinton personally, or you could make the assertion that “she surprises most people who work for her”, unless you have worked for her yourself?

    You spend a lot of time rationalization and justifying Senator Clinton’s voting record. When someone is running their campaign on experience, their voting IS a record of their experience.

    I am not going to debunk everything else you wrote. I will say that I was wrong about the amendment. It was a bill not an amendment. You write her position was seen as a comprise. By Whom? Who said that? Some talking heads? Still, Hillary co-authored that bill to criminalize flag burning, a form of protected free speech guaranteed under the Constitution. The bill got less support than the amendment. Even without the bill, the voting for the amendment wouldn’t have passed, so there was no comprise needed. And she didn’t need to write it.

  23. J Clark

    I don’t know Clinton personally, but I am a political (and film) junkie who follows politics (and the film industry) as closely as I can. And despite the many flaws of the Clintons, I still admire them–call me crazy! :) I still give them the benefit of the doubt despite all the political baggage, most of which I believe is baseless.

    In regard to surprising people who work “with” her, I was referring to various articles I’ve read over the last few years about how she has worked in the Senate to change the perception that she is too partisan to work constructively And as I understand it, a majority of New Yorkers and a majority of her Senate colleagues have remarked upon how impressively she has accomplished just that. People have also criticized her for seeming cold, yet she has also been criticized for opening up emotionally. She gets hammered from the left and right and keeps right on truckin’ (so to speak).

    Criticism of her voting record is fair game. I happen to agree that there was no need for a bill criminalizing flag burning. I could care less if someone wants to light one up. But with the far right clamoring for a constitutional amendment, she offered a watered-down alternative. I wasn’t referring to anyone specifically who views this as a compromise… I suppose that’s just the way I saw it. The way I see it, free speech is not without some regulation.

    People can yell FIRE in a theater, belittle Mohammed in a comic strip or burn an American flag on the 4th of July among patriots, but in some situations, that may not be the wisest thing to do, and doing so can incite violence. It’s a fine line, sometimes, finding a balanced approach to sensitive issues.

    Although part of her experience comes from her Senate record, I believe she acquired a unique form of experience as First Lady. She saw the Presidency from a perspective that no candidates thus far have ever had at their disposal. Having lived this experience, I think she understands political survival and how to navigate the pressure-cooker of the White House. I think that’s valuable.

    Anyway, sorry for rambling. I have spent a lot of time defending Senator Clinton (I should be doing homework). I just enjoy engaging in these types of discussions.

    We may not agree politically, but maybe we have the same taste in movies??? :)

  24. richard crawford

    I don’t think Obama will pick Edwards for Veep. It’s the you can’t go there again syndrome. However, it is an interesting idea. I am going to think about it. I was for Edwards in the beginning. What are the plusses and minuses? Obama would do it if he thinks it’s a good idea? Edwards is a terrific talent, politican.
    Sasha: Gas tax holiday? lying about coming under sniper fire…why?
    obliterating Iran? How can you believe she is seasoned?

  25. RRA Politicks this side of Triple H

    No, Edwards will be Attorney General for Obama….if Edwards had endorsed him earlier. Opps.

    Now now Richard, Sasha can’t help that she’s trying to get Girl Power into the White House. Quite frankly, she might as well have tried to stump for Kay Hutchinson if Sasha was determined to pimp for such a mediocre candidate.

    That, or Sasha is a Democrat who’s been battered by the Bush Years (aren’t we all?) that she feels that Hillary is the only savior that can keep the GOP out of the White House for the next 4 years. You know, partisan paranoia that gets the best of some of us.

    Me? Hillary lost my vote when she went after GTA: SAN ANDREAS. Not even Sasha can defend that bullshit.

  26. richard crawford

    Edwards would be a great sec. of state, too. Obama is a smart guy…i think he will use Edwards….endorsement or not. I also love Mrs. Edwards. I hope he hires her too, if her health allows.

    I was not trying to drive a wedge between Sasha and me… on line “friends” can disagree….I wish Hilary had been a better cadidate…I wanted her to be better. However, now I am fed up. Please get O_U_T!, Hilary.

  27. Ryan Adams,

    I agree with you 100%. I, too, thought it was the best of both worlds when it was between Hil and Barack. But when she started reverting to dirty politics, she lost my respect. Yes, she is taking a pounding, but she’s started most of the rifts, so it’s not like she’s innocent.

    And so true, it’s NOT heroism on her part to stay in the race. She’s making McCain seem so much more appealing in this way, and the Democratic party is going to have in-fighting within itself, whether or not people admit that.

  28. Sasha I am sorry to say but it is Hillary who is protracting this primary to no end denying what is completely clear. Being a woman I was very proud to have her as a candidate and I though that, even though I prefer Obama, she would be a great president. But now I can’t say that this is the case anymore. She has been so divisive and disgusting that I can’t wait for her to be out. I can’t imagine that Obama woul pick her as his running mate and I don’t think that he would pick Edwards since he hasn’t endorsed him and he wouldn’t really help him in the areas where he needs the help.

  29. Silencio

    As an African American male, I initially supported Edwards. When he withdrew, I eventually chose Obama. It was not out of racial solidarity. And my disgust with Hillary has nothing to do with gender, but her behavior.
    Obama should choose someone more experienced as a VP. But Edwards should be placed somewhere.

    Ebert’s idea for the movie sounds fantastic. I would see that in a heartbeat. Hell, I might even write it. All credit given where it’s due, of course.

  30. The thing about Hillary is that her voters in the primaries seem to be more motivated by their distrust of and/or dislike for Obama. She’s succeeded to the extent that she has by allowing him to be portrayed as “the other.” It’s always been kind of difficult to find people who actually like her. She benefits from being a woman because her primary “base” since New Hampshire has been older white women.

    Many above commenters make good points. Hillary is not all that different from the neocons in the Bush administration when it comes to being warlike. I shudder to think of the enemies she’ll make (after eight years of Bush making a legion of them already).

    I don’t want McCain in the least. He terrifies me, and his policies truly are just an extension of the Bush years. (Though he does seem to *slightly* more fiscally disciplined.) But Hillary isn’t particularly different. Her hypocrisy, posing to be “tough,” while whining about receiving the first question in a debate (???), her underhanded attacks on Obama (whether or not the GOP will be worse is almost irrelevant; at the end of the day she and Obama are supposed to be on the same team), her recent statement that she attracts the hard-working Americans, who are, by the way, white (a statement that would be simply called “racist” if a Republican had dared to utter it)…

    She’s just a poisonous figure, regardless of her gender. I don’t “hate” her, that would just be a waste of emotion and energy.

    Regarding Edwards: If Obama picks him for VP, then he deserves to lose. The guy is a complete lightweight whose performance as a VP candidate was incredibly poor. Cheney may be pure evil but in their debate he made Edwards look like the opponent of Jake LaMotta called cute by LaMotta’s girl. Even diehard Democrats had to immediately admit Edwards had completely failed on just about all levels. Obama needs toughness on the ticket and Edwards is a snowflake.

  31. alice Deejay

    it’s funny that you’re mentioning the possibilty of a movie about Billary, because I’m writing a screenplay about them at the moment.
    I’m supposed to show it to producers next year. I’ll let you know how if it works out.

  32. elessar

    Since everyone else has weighed in, I feel I should contribute as well. My pick for Obama’s running-mate is Virginia Senator Jim Webb. Why? I’ll tell you:

    1) he is a former Vietnam Vet and a former Secretary of the Navy. He’s also something of an expert on foreign policy issues.

    2) He typifies the so-called Reagan Democrats who became disillusioned with the Dems because of Vietnam. Heck, he served as Reagan’s naval secretary.

    3) He was against invading Iraq from the very beginning and accurately predicted what would happen.

    4) He can speak the language of the blue-collar voters that Obama has trouble with and is one of the Senators most committed to economic justice. In a book of his, BORN FIGHTING, he says that whomever can bring the Scots-Irish (read blue-collar Southerners) and the African Americans to the same table will reshape the face of American politics. He, surprisingly for a Southern Dem, supports labor’s right to organize, saying that “everyone needs an agent”.

    5) Contrary to some allegedly sexist writings he made in the early 1970s, Webb is a staunch supporter of women’s rights and as naval secretary, opened every available billet to female officers.

    6) In a new book of his, KEEP FIGHTING, he says what has needed to be said for many years: it’s time to reform our drug policy. The “war on drugs” (how can you declare war on an object?) is an abject failure, and our domestic policies have done little good. He sees drug addiction as a medical problem that should be treated, not incarcerated (unless other crimes have been committed). He also hits the nail on the head by asking “If Democrats won’t be the party of economic fairness, who will?” While he may not seem like it, Obama believes in economic fairness. Clinton, meanwhile, just uses it as an election strategy.

    7) Much like Obama, Webb’s family represents the increasing diversity of America and the world at large. Obama, obviously, has roots in Africa and also Asia (his half-sister is Indonesian). Webb’s wife was one of the boat people who fled Vietnam, and both have extensive contacts in the region. It would be nice to have a VP with an understanding of the world, and showed respect for it, as opposed to whatever corner of hell spawned Dick Cheney.

    I think that just about does it.

    Another choice would be Mike Easley, the outgoing governor of NC. He is also a populist in the Jim Webb mold and has a strong record on the environment.

    Edwards would not be a good VP choice, but he WOULD be an outstanding Attorney General. It would be nice having an AG who would be the People’s Lawyer rather than the president’s stooge.

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